We are pleased to begin the first in a series of articles written by Jerry Brundrett. Jerry is a well-known, respected, and beloved member of our community. He is an Engineer and Surveyor. His family roots in the community go back more than 175 years. His historical knowledge of our community is unrivalled. And we trust you will agree that he missed his calling as a writer. In this first article, titled “Morning Thoughts”, Jerry writes about the recent heavy rains and resulting flooding of residences and businesses in the community. He describes how the City and County have finally started to address the flooding with drainage improvement projects, but alerts us to the delays and obstinance of the Aransas County Navigation District.

 

Morning Thoughts

As I awoke at 1:00 am and fought my mind so that I might fall back asleep, I lost the battle. Visions of Hurricane Harvey and the past July floods brought back memories of our communities suffering in so many ways. I have seen a lot happen to this community in my 73 years, some good, some not so good. I have always felt blessed to live my life in this county and have raised my family to share the great privilege God has given us. The blood that flows through my veins is the product of over 176 years of family history in this county. We have survived the storms, the droughts, the Civil War and the Great Depression. We have welcomed with open arms many who have come to live in our piece of Texas paradise. We have seen growth and development to make room for others and we have worked to solve the challenges that growth brings. Through the years, we have seen good leaders and not so good leaders who we elected to captain the ship. Some of the good leaders came from the ranks of those who came to live here from other areas. I can say that many who came brought new and fresh ideas which has made our coastal community stronger and better. Some have come, built their home and said, “No more growth. I have my piece of paradise and there is no room for others.” I have said many times that if my family would have had that attitude back in 1845, many of those who are here would not be here.

So, here we are, Friday, November 19, 2021, attempting to live together in our piece of paradise. I am awake because my heart breaks for all those that have suffered from the storm and rain events that have flooded businesses and homes all over our peninsula. No matter where I drive in this County, I have flashbacks of flooded homes and shattered lives. I see dumpsters outside the Presbyterian Church and the workers tearing out the sheetrock damaged from flood waters. I see Discount Auto, sweeping out the water that flooded their business. I see the Appraisal District building that had just completed their new building after Harvey destroyed the old one. There are so many locations I could name, but we need to move on.

I have seen our city and county government get in high gear to identify the areas that have flooded and to fast track projects that would help to solve the Aransas County flooding issues. I have seen citizen groups express anger and frustration to our leaders to move faster to solve the Aransas County flooding issues. Finally, someone is listening, and work is beginning. Hope is on the horizon. But wait!!! The project must stop. The Navigation District says they were not consulted. Stop, while we think about what you are proposing. That is our property, and you can’t cross it without our approval. It is okay if the homes and businesses flood, our duty is to protect our piers and bait stands and the bait in the bait wells.

This may be a little dramatic, but I was under the impression that all government exists for the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens they serve. Flooding is an issue that affects the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens and we are not being served.

Every delay in any drainage project in the County is a day longer that our citizens are at risk of flooding in the future. We all deserve better than this. A wise person once said that when leaders are without honor, the people suffer. We have suffered; we are suffering; and we will suffer again. Edwin Percy Whipple once said, “A politician weakly and amiably in the right is no match for a politician tenaciously and pugnaciously in the wrong. You cannot, by tying an opinion to a man’s tongue, make him the representative of that opinion; and at the close of any battle for principles, his name will be found neither among the dead, nor among the wounded, but among the missing.”

History will record that when this battle over principles is over and the battlefield is surveyed for the dead and the wounded, the citizens of our city and county will be listed among the dead and wounded, and those commissioners who support any action to block drainage into the waters of Aransas County, will be recorded as missing in action. John Adams once said that “the Constitution was written for moral and religious people, and it is totally inadequate for the governance of any other.” Our Founding Fathers were both moral and religious and we expect the same of our leaders today.

I will close by saying I love this county more than life itself and I will stand on the wall and stand against anyone who I see as a threat to this county and its citizens. “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Jerry Brundrett

11.19.2021